2020 Membership Meeting & Awards Celebration Recipients Announced
September 17, 2020
For more information contact:
Laurin Kocurek, Director of Communications
President & CEO
2020 Membership Meeting & Awards Celebration Recipients Announced
The Abilene Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Abilene Chamber Awards Celebration. The Annual Meeting that took place the evening of Sept. 17 is the Chamber’s annual celebration for the business community to reflect on the previous year, celebrate the year to come, and to honor those who have helped shape that future.
“The resiliency of the Big Country has been proven over and over again,” said Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited to announce the award winners for this year’s celebration and honor the accomplishments by the individuals and businesses who make up this community, despite this trying year.”
This year’s recipients are:
Redcoat of the Year – Maxanne Little, Abilene Scene; Corporate Star Award – Atmos Energy; Excellence in Agriculture – Rochelle Johnson, Taylor County Expo Center; Hispanic Business Council Champion Award – United Supermarkets, LLC; Leadership Abilene Alumni Award – Shaun Martin, Atmos Energy; Military Affairs Committee Award – Scott Senter, Senter, REALTORS; Young Professional of the Year Award – Megan Dobbs, Center for Contemporary Arts; Community Investment Award – Pest Patrol; Nonprofit of the Year Award – Day Nursery of Abilene, Inc.; Family-Owned Business of the Year – Kent Beck Motors; New Business of the Year Award – The Shed Market; Small Business Young Entrepreneurs of the Year – Omar Ortiz, 83 Entertainment and Allison Carroll, Monks Coffee; Chairman’s Award – Kelly Jay, TMI Texas Media Inc.
Get to know the award winners
Redcoat of the Year
Maxanne Little has worked with Abilene Scene for the past seven years, and before that worked with KRBC-TV. She has been active in the Chamber throughout her career as she continues to help businesses accomplish their marketing goals. Maxanne joined the Redcoats in 2014 and has served the community with an infectious good attitude, always finding and exuding positivity in any situation. We are privileged to call her a colleague. Congratulations, Maxanne!
Corporate Star Award
Atmos Energy believes the communities they serve are far more than places to do busines. As an Impact Investor the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, they offer support through various Chamber activities including the Military Affairs Committee, Texas Farm Ranch and Wildlife Scholarship Luncheon, Leadership Abilene and more. On average, Atmos employees spend more than 35, 000 hours each year donating their time and skills to the cities and towns they call home. Congratulations, Atmos Energy!
Excellence in Agriculture Award
Rochelle Johnson serves as the Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Taylor County Expo Center. Through her work, Rochelle has shown true passion for helping to promote the Agriculture industry and the Chamber’s Agriculture Committee’s mission. A 1986 graduate of McMurry University, Rochelle is active in various community and state boards including the Texas Association of Fairs and Events. Congratulations, Rochelle!
Hispanic Business Council Champion Award
United Supermarkets, LLC supports Abilene through ultimate service, superior performance and positive impact that is woven into their business culture. Whether it is a financial gift to support local causes like Meals on Wheels, the Chamber’s Business Mercado, Business Expo and Leadership Abilene program; or by donating to the community through the thousands of volunteer hours team members spend participating in U Crew events. Congratulations, United Supermark!
Leadership Abilene Alumni Award
Shaun Martin, Public Affairs Manager for Atmos Energy is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Abilene. Shaun has shown dedication to the mission of Leadership Abilene by serving as the 2015 Leadership Abilene Chair, and continues to be an active Leadership Abilene Alumni. Shaun supports the community through service to the Chamber’s leadership programs, Industrial Foundation, the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, Rotary Club of Abilene, is a 2009 Top 20 Under 40 honoree and many other nonprofits and organizations. Congratulations, Shaun!
Military Affairs Committee Award</em
Scott Senter, lifelong Abilenian and President of Senter REALTORS, has been a staunch supporter of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee for decades. Air Mobility Command recognized Scott’s love for the Air Force and desire to help in any way possible and asked him to serve the Air Mobility Command Four Star General as a civic leader advisor for two terms. Scott has served as honorary commander to the 317th Airlift Wing leadership at Dyess, the Golden Eagle’s program, and many other key roles. Scott is active in the community and is the past president of the Abilene Board of Realtors, and past chairman of The Commercial Division for the Texas Association of Realtors. Congratulations, Scott!
Young Professional of the Year
Megan Dobbs, Executive Director for the Center for Contemporary Arts, receives this award for her dedication to the mission of AYP – attracting, retaining, and engaging the 21-40-year-old demographic in Abilene. A previous Chair of the AYP Steering Committee, Megan worked tirelessly to help plan, expand, and execute the AYP Leadership Summit. She has shown tremendous commitment in engaging the young professional demographic through various philanthropic areas in the community such as Work Again West Texas, Abilene Fresh and many more. Congratulations, Megan!
Community Investment Award
Pest Patrol has been serving the Abilene, Big Spring, Eastland, Texas area since 1992. As a family owned and operated business, their number one focus is providing customers with the best pest control services available. Pest Patrol believes in investing into their community to make it a better place to live for our customers and employees. Debbie and Weldon Hurt give their time and financially support numerous nonprofits throughout the Big Country. Congratulations, Pest Patrol!
Nonprofit of the Year Award
Day Nursey of Abilene, Inc. has been providing affordable quality childcare for a diverse community since 1972, and now care for nearly 500 children representing nearly 300 families. Day Nursery of Abilene became a cornerstone for our community’s prosperity in their actions during the COVID-19 crisis. As childcare centers closed across the country, Day Nursery of Abilene rose to the occasion with the new challenges by providing steady guidance and fearless leadership while ensuring their children have a safe, nurturing environment to help keep Abilene parents working. Congratulations, Day Nursery of Abilene!
Family-Owned Small Business of the Year Award
Kent Beck began his business, Kent Beck Motors, 16 years ago with his wife. After years of growth, Kent Beck Motors now employs 13 individuals with five of the 13 being family members. Even though the team of 13 may not all be blood related, Kent says they pride themselves on being one big family. Congratulations, Kent Beck Motors!
New Business of the Year Award
The Shed Market has been in the in the Dean family for generations but was revitalized in 2018 by their oldest grandson Byron and his wife Stacie when they bought the family farm and took over the catering business. They are now blessed to operate The Shed Market together using the same BBQ recipes and standards they learned from Hollis and Betty Dean, but have also added a custom meat market for the “foodies” of Abilene who enjoy preparing their high-quality meat at home. Congratulations, The Shed Market!
Small Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Allison Carroll has been the owner of Monks Coffee Shop since April of 2015. Driven by a desire to create community through coffee, Allison has turned Monks into an important hub of activity for life in our great city and a mainstay of the Abilene coffee scene. Under her leadership, Monks has seen the largest revenue growth in the company’s history – an increase in sales of over 160 percent – and is thriving even in the face of the current global pandemic.
Omar Ortiz started 83 Entertainment in 2013 with a vision to build a reputable and quality audio-visual company in Abilene, Texas. The unofficial lighting tech for his dad’s band at three years old, Omar armed himself with a background in marketing and IT before venturing out on his own. Omar and his team provide a local touch to quality production from wedding receptions and galas, to conferences and concert festivals and more. Congratulations, Omar and Allison!
Kelly Jay started TMI Texas Media Inc in 2013 and has been affiliated with the Chamber through events and programs for many years. Kelly has served as the Chair of Business Expo for two years, for numerous years on the Abilene Business Council, is an active member in the Military Affairs Committee and serves as one of the “dirty dozen” at the World’s Largest BBQ. Outside of the Chamber, Kelly and his team give back to numerous organizations throughout the community including Abilene Freedom Festival, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Abilene Beer Summit, Crime Stoppers and more. Congratulations, Kelly!
Since 1908, the Abilene Chamber has served as a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for developing and promoting the economy and quality of life. For more information on the Chamber and the 1,200 businesses it represents, visit www.abilenechamber.com